Review: Inhumans: Judgment Day #1

Inhumans as of recent has had a rocky relationship with Marvel fans. There are a lot who love them like myself and the good folks at the “Attilan Rising” podcast but others who detest them due to the recent push by Marvel to get them into the forefront. But regardless, Marvel moves forward with their Inhumans books especially under the ResurrXion lineup which had a selection of X-Men and Inhumans books. On the Inhumans side to be specific, we have Al Ewing‘s Royals, Matthew Rosenberg’s Secret Warriors and my personal favorite, Saladin Ahmed’s Black Bolt-the latter being incredibly well received ever since its debut back in 2017.

Al Ewing is really among Marvel’s many MVPs at the company with his knowledge of the Marvel universe (or at least the amount of research he puts into), creative scenarios and character lineups like in Mighty Avengers or Ultimates and finally how he writes his choice of characters especially in whatever situation he puts them in and you can tell with Royals and his own contributions, he has a love of weird Sci-Fi and it’s working to effective use here and in Royals. He’s added to the mythology of the Inhumans like the Progenitors, these sort of alien/android race where one of them looks like Baymax on steroids. So this book kind of, sort of serves as a finale to his book Royals but also plays a part in Ahmed’s book Black Bolt in a future. We’ll get to that part soon.

Anyone new picking this up, might be lost if they haven’t read Royals but Ewing does at least have Maximus provide some kind of recap in beautiful two page spreads by Mike del Mundo which contain elements from Royals and a reflection in the second set with a skull faced Black Bolt and an aged Gorgon stomping around. The art by Kevin Libranda and certain pages done by Mike del Mundo really compliment Ewing’s writing, never a disconnect like say, if Cullen Bunn writes an X-Men book, there’s art by Greg Land that can be distracting. None of that is in Judgment Day. Branada provides solid artwork for the characters for the normal scenes but del Mundo serves effective art for the sets of two page spreads and a sequence involving Medusa in a dream state interacting with Black Bolt and the Progenitors.

These moments I feel are the best part of the book. It’s effective in showing how much both Black Bolt and Medusa had grown since the start of their respective books as well as their first debuts in the comics way back in the 60’s. They’ve become wiser, more empathetic than usual due to learning much about themselves and the world and the universe around them. There’s a solid amount of emotion from their interactions and informing themselves of what they’ve been through. The book didn’t take the easy way out of hooking them back together immediately, they are essentially just friends but they are powerful together, married or not.

In a beautiful last splash page, something missing from Medusa does come back and it is gorgeous to look at based on del Mundo’s artwork and Branada’s art as well mind you. And the colors by Jose Villarrubia and Del Mundo’s colors really make the book’s art stand out further-giving them solid flair in both types of pages with del Mundo’s page providing the artistic flair and Libranda’s pages a cosmic, colorful touch. Yes, the book is setting up what’s to come in the future and in Ahmed’s future Black Bolt issues (there was a curious scene of how Bolt exited the story which hints you have to read a future issue of Black Bolt to find out what happened). And then one last surprise in the very last two pages of the story that rather bluntly hints that the adventures of the Inhumans have just begun. It’s the end of another chapter for the Inhumans, the royal family to be specific but the next chapter is about to begin whether it’d be a new book or someone else’s. Either way, I am looking forward to what happens to the Inhuman royal family and I’ll be there for day one.

If you’re a fan of the Inhumans and been following books like Royals and Black Bolt, this is the book to satisfy your needs but if not, I’m sure Phoenix Resurrection is more for you which is also a good book too! Check it out, either way.

General Marvel